PPJ Gazette

By: Lynn Swearingen

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

“The potential for RFID tagging of livestock is billions yearly and the potential for radio tagging of food is in trillions a year…”

U.S. Vs Canada Smack Down in October? 090115a2

Not exactly how you expected to start your day is it? A little background might be in order.

In 1990 the creation of the National Advisory Board on Animal Identification was created to begin offering livestock traceability initiatives in Canada. Not content to use the systems in place that had proven effect in cost, labor and common sense, the Advisory Board determined that streamlining through Rfid tagging and individual reporting of livestock was the way to go.

Determining the total cost for this voluntary program over the past 19 years is impossible. I’d like to say names have been changed to protect the innocent, but it is more likely the “Program” and    Canadian Government simply don’t want the public to know the tax burden they bear. One can find the most recent funding totals $20 million over the next 3 years from The Canadian Industry Traceability Infrastructure Program.

However, in order to ensure that farmers, feedlots and others affected will be able to participate by the January 1, 2011 deadline, the Canadian Government announced a 70% rebate on handheld or panel readers (see fake cow ear below). The costs for CAN ID are considerable as stated by their own numbers   “Livestock producers, feedlots, veterinary clinics, meat processors, fairs and exhibitions are eligible for a maximum rebate of $50,000 per facility. Auction marts can get a maximum rebate of $100,000.”  That translates to a possible  investment of $71,429 to $142,857 per facility. Ouch.